When You Feel Unvaluable

My top three strengths are “activator” and “achiever” and “woo”. That means I really, really, really want to do ALL OF THE THINGS, to be awesome, and to have you like me.

So it stung, hearing the words. Out loud.  Again. A phrase similar to others I’ve heard over the years.

My husband John was recounting his day and a meeting he had had with a member of the church who had listened and given insight on the future of our faith community. John and his colleague in the meeting asked this awesomely awesome guest to return for another hour of conversation.

Of course this will be pay-rolled!  We value your gifts and talents and expertise, so ABSOLUTELY we’ll pay you for your time!”

“Said no one to me ever”, is the place my slightly over-dramatic mind went to as I listened to him.

Validation. Whether you’re twenty-something, or….well, not… we all long for it and even when we get it in one form, we want more, or different.  We’re desperate to know we matter.  We add value.  We make a difference.

In our society validation = money + title + “likes” + “followers” + “mentions” +++++

We read about Jesus “making himself nothing” (Phil. 2). But how could He do that?  How could He soldier on without a pay check or a title, or ….?  Because it was God, not people who made Him.  He was truly “playing to an audience of One.” A challenging gig for us.

If you’re an educated twenty-something who can’t find a job or are interning, how valuable are you feeling today?

If you’re a mom, has your toddler ever said to you “Mom, you are so awesome you deserve a promotion and a raise!”?

Have you ever “gone viral” because you cared for an aging parent, or coached a little league team, or chaired a huge event, or said something inspiring on a date?

Yeah. I didn’t think so.

What happens when you compare yourself with others who are being acknowledged and you feel dinged?  Someone hurts your feelings and the insecure, envious little varmint o’ jealousy in you pops his head up.

You feel like you’re playing “whack a mole” and try to pound him back underground, right?

What’s a better option when we feel disposable? “Less than”?

The verse that came to mind was 2 Corinthians 10:5 “…we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”

What does that look like?

Thought: I feel valueless. A mascot on the team of life.

Hold the phone and stop the presses Missy! Really??  REALLY???

Truth: (that we hear from Jesus in a still small voice when we lean in & listen hard)  I am beloved and gifted by God who has good plans that He has prepared for me.

Sounds easy, but is so incredibly…not, right??!

In order to take our thoughts captive to Jesus, we need to know what His thoughts are.

This was part of my Bible reading this morning:

“But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory and the one who lifts my head.” Ps. 3:3  I need that reminder daily!

I love what Tim Keller writes in Galatians for You:

“If you find yourself being very defensive around someone, you must use the Gospel at that very moment, saying to yourself: What you think of me is not the important thing. Jesus is my righteousness, my identity, my worth. If, on the other hand, you feel yourself looking down on someone, you need to remind yourself of the Gospel: What I think of me is not the important thing. I am just as much a sinner and just as undeserving of Christ’s love for me as this person.”

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. So spot on Laura. Thank you. More and more I’m discovering the importance of being mindful of what my mind is saying sometimes in loud shouts and other times in mischievous whispers. These days if I feel an unpleasant emotion I ask myself what I’ve been thinking and more often than not find its been unproductive. Then, as you’ve suggested and shown in 2 Corinthians 10, it’s about recasting the thought which often for me is as simple and powerful as saying. “Thank you God that you love me, that you are with me and in me”. It’s awesome how this simple phase changes my thinking.

    • Thanks Donna! You are so right – stopping to pay attention and ask, “Just what place are those voices coming from?” is a discipline!

  2. Laura, you put this SO well! Thanks for that wonderful feeling of reading something and knowing that I am not alone! As much as I wish they were forever-defeated in my heart, pride and the need to be validated put up such a fight, don’t they? Like you said, it takes stopping and re-directing our thoughts to His truth about us that brings victory. My focus in this season of life is John 3:30 (He must increase, but I must decrease)…so this post really was timely and encouraging for me. Thank you for sharing it!

  3. Claire Catherine Wyatt

    January 15, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    Oh man – I needed this SO BADLY today, you have no idea. Thanks Laura 🙂

  4. Joanna Sormunen

    January 21, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    Thank you for this post, it’s so wonderfully inspirational and really touched my heart. There are so many moments when all of us feel unvaluable. Thank you!

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